BROAD CA STER
S E P T E M B E R 1 9 7 1
V O L U M E I
N U M B E R 9
AUGUST RADIO FEATURES
... J. RICHARD CHASE
Managing Editor. . .
Biola Hour Ho st. . .
C O N T E N T S
Spectrum of Christianity . J. Richard Chase Psychological Suicide . .
Robert L. Thomas Panel D i s c u s s i o n s .................................................. 10 The Spirit Controlled L i f e ..........................................16 C. Sumner Wemp The Beginnings of F a i t h ..........................................27 Malcolm Cronk James . . . . . . . . . 37 Lloyd T . Anderson
Cover Photograph by Pete Schwepker
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Aron and Margaret Friesen were honored at a retirement luncheon in June for their 13 years of service to Biola as Managers of the cafeteria. Mrs. Friesen is holding the tape recorder given to them, along with a complete tape library of the Old and New Testa ment.
SPECTRUM OF CHRISTIANITY J. R ICHARD CHASE
In a college text on persuasion, Thomas Scheidel notes that if we were to be shown all possible degrees of color brightness, hue, and saturation we could distinguish seven million separate colors. We could not name them; we could just say this green is different from that green. Our language breaks down long before our ability to distinguish the shades of color ends. To bring order out of all these details, we lump groups of colors together into dark green, light green, kelly green, olive green, or even chartreuse. The more discriminating, knowledgeable, and perceptive, the more categories we have for green. Is it wrong to use categories to label people and things? No, it is a necessary process in a complex society. Man adjusts his complexworld to fit himself: he orders his environment so he can relate to it and discuss it. This is true in Christian circles as well. The word conservative may be a serviceable label for a category of Christians who earnestly believe that Christ is the Son of God and the Bible the very Word of God. To another, that category is too broad. We may label a conservative a mem ber of our church who uses our hymnal and supports our programs. Everybody else is then a liberal— or worse. A new believer in Christ who has become a child of God, a joint-heir with Christ soon learns that he must also choose within a spectrum of Evangelicalism or Fundamentalism, scores of independent and denomina tional churches, and such bewildering terms as new-evangelicallsm and Page 4
second-degree separation. If he does not choose, he will still be labeled and judged by some for being indecisive! There is a danger In lumping and categorizing Christians just as there is a danger in overly generalizing in all of life. If we lack the desire or ability to accurately discriminate between important shades of mean ing, we may lump all Baptists together and call them Fundamentalists, or label people on whether or not they support a given person, school or mission organization. Then we begin reacting to all the people In that classification in the same way. Categorizing is a useful tool for man, but it must be recognized for what it is: a devise that enables the user to generalize and order his world and thus compensate for his inability to relate satisfactorily to the complexities of life. It is refreshing to know that God does not generalize and lump indi viduals into categories so He can understand and relate to His people. Matthew 10:20 & 30 teaches that God is concerned about us in a very personal way. As a group or category, the Church is the Bride of Christ. However, we are known, loved, and appreciated as individuals. I Corinthians 3:12-15 reveals that we will be judged of God not for what our parents, the church, or our organization does; but for what we do in our own particular life or service for our Lord. This is both comfort ing and sobering. Page 5
Robert L. Thomas, Th.D.
ence to the command to be hum bled under His mighty hand. But the seventh verse focuses upon humility as it pertains to the one exercising it. Failure here can have serious psychological implications. It is undeniable that problems will intervene while the Christian awaits his exaltation at the return of Christ (I Peter 5:6). These might grow to the point of becoming un bearable, no matter how good his intention may be. While awaiting the reappearance of Christ, he may suffer from pressures of all types, social, mental, physical, financial and many others. Fie will begin to
Too little recognition has been given to Biblical teachings on men tal health. For example, few have noticed Peter's important words on this subject toward the close of his first epistle. After giving attention to the prospects of persecution and its consequent suffering, he turns to the important virtue of humility and describes its effects upon the individual. In I Peter 5:5 he shows humil ity's impact upon one's relations with others. In I Peter 5:6 it is low liness of mind toward God; wil lingness to accept the unpleasant circumstances of life is in obedi
Professor of New Testament Language and Literature Talbot Theological Seminary
In fact, more than just privilege is involved; there is also obliga tion. First and foremost, verse seven is a command instead of a promise. Trying to bear the burden alone, far from being noble, is equated to the sin of pride. The important spiritual principle, in the grammat ical terminology of Alford, is: "This participial clause [verse seven] is explanatory of the former impera tive one [verse six], inasmuch as all anxiety is a contradiction of true humility'' (Henry Alford, The Greek Testament, IV, 385; italics added). To be anxious about circumstances, thus, is to be proud. Page 7
feel he will crack under such a tremendous load. He knows that something must give way, because as tensions mount, he finds they are more than he can bear. Yet verse seven says there is no need to break down; it is not the Christian's part to shoulder these pressures: "Casting the whole of your anxiety upon Him, for He cares for you." The proper course is to pass them along to the One who has allowed the circumstances to materialize. Passing along such anxiety is a great privilege and constitutes an aspect of humility which is inward.
from the word translated "careth" later in the same verse. The word behind "anxiety," in its derivation, is a graphic picture of distracting care, a divided attention. Such di version prevents the whole-hearted devotion that ought to mark a Christian's life. The spirit of the in dividual is severed, part of its alle giance belonging to God and part to self. Anxiety viewed in this man ner sets self in competition with God. The seriousness of the moral problem is immediately evident when anxiety is labeled as a form of pride. Yet there are also preva lent among us today many emo tional, mental and physical conse quences of this sin. Has there ever been another day when inward tur moil has played such havoc among Christian high school young peo ple? Has there ever been another day when church leaders suffered physical breakdowns due to their inability to cope with situations? Has there even been another day when Christians lost their effec tiveness in witness because their own lives were torn asunder by the absence of the peace of God? "Hurry" is the watchword of our lives. Because of pride we assume that God has not planned carefully enough. We find ourselves revamp ing His plan and crowding in more than He ever intended, so that we run to and fro, busy in many things, but accomplishing little except our own destruction. Could it be that the present day increase in professional counseling among Christians is in fact trace able to a failure to define anxiety properly? Can it be that Christians are turning to natural sources for relief from the sin of anxiety and
Robert L. Thomas
This relationship, so clearly de lineated in this verse, is contrary to popular Christian perspective in our day and time. Nevertheless, the Biblical analysis remains. To be an xious is to assume that / must take over now that God has made a flop of things. The frustrated Christian is not to be pitied because of his frustration, nor is he to be admired for breaking down under circum stances which assume proportions impossible from a human stand point. No matter how hard the times may be, to give in to anxiety is tantamount to practicing pride. The word "care" in the King James translation of this verse is more accurately rendered "anxi ety." It comes from a root different Page 8
Christians in our day. Men who are giants of the faith do not topple in the face of a frontal attack. The devil knows their defeat is possible only through the inner deteriora tion wrought by anxiety, and thus he makes effective use of this dead ly weapon. Indeed, pride does lead to destruction (Proverbs 16:18). The last part of verse seven con tains a word to assure us of sym pathetic help. This statement differ entiates Christianity from all other religions of the world. The basis for casting the whole of our anxiety upon the Lord lies in His attentive ness to us: "For to Him you are an object of care." He already loves us; we do not have to earn it. Such a relationship is the outgrowth of His grace and of His grace alone. The bearer of our anxieties is one and the same with the only One who really cares. His genuine con cern for us is a guarantee that He will accept whatever burden we pass on.
frustration? Can it be that they pre fer psychoanalysis to soul search ing, so that anxiety will not have to be labeled with its proper name? Could it be that many of the prob lems are not mental at all, but rather spiritual? Peter's technique for the trans- ferral of anxiety is rather specific: (1) His choice of the word "cast" or "throw" instead of "place" in dicates that energetic effort is in volved. There is deliberate motion when one throws an object. (2) It is a once-for-all action (aorist participle). It is synonymous with the act of humiliation of verse six. A person does not accomplish one without performing the other. Both are carried out at one deci sive moment. (3) It is not an optional matter, but is in the form of a command. Psalm 55:22 whence the quotation is taken makes the imperatival force even more clear-cut. (4) The singular number of "care" or "anxiety" unites all the individ ual circumstances into one. We do not throw aside each care as it arises; rather we cast off "the whole of" our anxiety in one decisive act. This is not a picture of careless indifference to the problem, nor is it one of reckless negligence or blind enthusiasm, but a deliberate act of placing all upon the shoul ders of Him who has allowed the circumstances to come to pass. The consequences of failure to heed this advice are evident in the words of I Peter 5:8. Satanic de struction awaits him who treats the sin of pride lightly and does not earnestly strive to cultivate the vir tue of humility. Surely this lurking enemy is the only explanation for the downfall of many outstanding
Dr. Charles L. Feinberg
Dr. Samuel H. Sutherland
Dr. J. Richard Chase
Q. Greeley, Colo. "Moses lived in Egypt. Many years later God had loseph and Mary take Jesus there for safety. Can you tell me why this was?" A. The Bible tells us a great deal about this nation. Passages such as Isaiah 19 present extended proph ecies on the land. Moses lived in Egypt because he was born there. He was a descendant of Levi, but very early was adopted into Phar aoh's household. God, in His sov ereignty, had selected him for lead ership into the land of promise.
It is apparent from the Biblical record that when there were troubles of any type people might resort to Egypt. Scripture describes it as likened unto "the Garden of the Lord." The Nile delta provided ample food for those in need. Be cause of its fertile soil two crops a year could be grown. It was prop erly referred to as "the bread-bas ket" of the ancient world. As to the human reasons for Mary and Joseph going down there we can get a better idea by look ing at a map. It was much easier
to go from the Holy Land to Egypt than it would be to go in any other direction. God, of course, ordained it. The fastest refuge would be Egypt. It also brought a fulfillment of prophecy (Isaiah 11:1). As aside- light, God has given promises to the Arab people as well. The last verse of Isaiah 19 reveals this with a prophetic coming blessing for Egypt and other neighboring lands. Remember that after all God chose Israel not as an end in herself but as Genesis 12:3 reminds us, that "in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Q. Oakland, Calif. " Why is there no mention of fish when Cod de stroyed the earth by the flood. Are fish any specific kind of symbol?" A. Not in Scripture so much as per haps in the early days of the Chris tian church. Of course we find fish in astrology and such superficial things today. When God destroyed the earth, He did not destroy the sea. The fish went on living, ex cept for any which may have been destroyed by the cataclysmic breaking up of the fountains of the deep. Q. Oakland, Calif. "In Luke 1:20 the angel Cabriel struck Zacharias dumb when he questioned him. Why did not the same happen to Mary? (Luke 1:34)." A. This does not indicate any par tiality on the part of God. Zachar ias was troubled. He wanted a sign since he and his wife were older. Perhaps the request was more than he bargained for since he was not able to speak until the child was born. There was an apparent lack of belief which was an unfortunate trait for a priest. Mary really ex hibited more faith in the matter when an even greater miracle would have to take place.
Q. Colville, Wash. "According to my understanding, it sounds like the Sermon on the Mount prom ises that works will gain one salva tion." A. Matthew 5 through 7 gives us the full text for this tremendous message of our Lord. We must un derstand the purpose of Matthew's Gospel, written under the inspira tion of the Holy Spirit. Here the testimony is given to the Jews rela tive to their coming king. There are more references here from the Old Testament than in any of the other gospels. The message of Christ formed what we might call the "constitution" of His earthly kingdom. If the nation of Israel had not rejected their Messiah this Ser mon on the Mount would have come into effect. Because of their unbelief, the kingdom was post poned. Such an understanding is absolutely vital in order to realize the dispensational significance to what our Lord was saying. This is not to minimize the tremendously practical aspects of the message. There are important principles in volved for us as Christians today. We should heed them as well. We do not, however, follow the teach ings to their ultimate finality (i.e., "If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out," etc.) The principles are there for our spiritual growth. No man is ever saved by good works. Once we have received Christ, however, we should show forth good works for all to see. Q. Flint, Mich. "Deuteronomy 14:2 6 has been perplexing to me. Does the Lord want us to buy strong drink?" A. We can answer this with a very resounding "NO"!! Strong drink is a tool of the devil. Only God Him- Page 11
be fashioned like unto it. (Philip- pians 3:21). Q. Seattle, Wash. "Please explain why the Christian should not use real playing cards." A. Our students and faculty are re quired to abstain from playing cards and gambling. Such things we believe are readily identified with a worldly life which is con trary to the Christian testimony (I Thessalonians 5:22). We are to avoid all appearances of evil. There is a definite departure from the way of life God would have us fol low. The principle of the believer is, "Does it hurt anybody else?" Will it cause someone to stumble?" That is the reason why we should remove ourselves from things which have a definite connection with the things of this world. Use of such cards will certainly not strengthen the Christian life. Q. Pueblo, Colo. "Is Genesis 1:26- 28 the story of the creation before the fall? Did not God command them to reproduce before the fall?" A. We do not know all that God had in mind when He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and to mul tiply. It was certainly a part of His divine decree that they were to have offspring. The birthpangs would be accompanied by labor and pain. God has pronounced His blessing on marriage which is the only way by which children prop erly are brought into the world. Q. Caldwell, Idaho, "What does the original manuscript reveal concern ing Genesis 6:16?" A. The window in the ark was to provide light and air. God gave Noah the perfect dimensions which He had appointed. There are those who would seek to heap scorn on the ark and would ridicule such
self knows how many homes have been destroyed by it and how many virtuous ones have been ru ined through it. This is to say noth ing of robberies and all manner of crimes which are traceable to al cohol. This verse is speaking to Old Testament worshippers. Notice where they are to do this. It is not at cocktail parties. It is to be “ be fore the Lord thy God" (vs. 23). This was part of a religious cere mony. In orthodox Judaism there is what they call “ ceremonial" or "festival wine." It is not used for self-indulgence to excess. People do not lose control of their senses or emotions. In Proverbs we are specifically admonished not to drink the wine while it is red. This refers to the problem of alcoholic content. In Ephesians 5:18 we are not to be "drunk with wine where in is excess." The word in the orig inal Greek is "riot." Our position is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If this were true then we would not have any craving for some thing else. Q. Providence, R.I. "Does God have a body?" A. The Bible teaches us that God is a Spirit. They that worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth. The Lord does not have a body as we know it. It is hard for us to imagine a personality without some sort of a form. That is because of our limited finite ability to under stand things. God certainly does not have a body as we know it. The Lord Jesus took on a body when He became man. What kind of a body He had prior to His in carnation no one knows. We do know that He has a resurrection body, and that someday ours will Page 12
verses as Genesis 6:16 on some scientific basis. Please spare your self! There has been no more sci entific vessel structured than this one. This is a solid, actual, Biblical account and scientifically defens ible with proper substantiation. Q. Seattle, Wash. "How would you interpret or explain Genesis 15:12?" A. This verse tells about the sun setting and a deep sleep falling upon Abraham. The actual account begins in verse seven where God promises Abraham a special inher itance. The patriarch was seeking for some confirmation. This prom ise was on a unilateral basis and Abraham was not even conscious of what was going on. This was an unconditional covenant. God bound Himself, just as He did with David, as well as in the new cove nant. The Lord did not want any body to make a mistake about who would fulfill the land agreement. Ownership of the land rests upon an unconditional covenant which binds God. Q. " I would like to have help in understanding Romans 6:23." A. This is the familiar passage re minding us that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It might help you to grasp the meaning if you substi tute "rewards" for wages. Sins are the outcropping of our fallen Ad amic nature. The result is death both physical, spiritual and eter nal. Regardless of what you think about hell, it is a place apart from God and all that is good. On the other side of the ledger is God's free gift of love and grace in the person of His Son, our Saviour. As we consider His work on Calvary's cross we may appropriate by faith
our full need for salvation. Never consider the gift of God as being cheap. It cost heaven its very best in order to make our salvation se cure. While it may be free to us we can never comprehend the in finite amount of suffering and ag ony which were required of our Lord. What we deserve as a result of who we are and what we have done is death. But the gift of God, which we do not deserve is only obtainable as a free gift. Christ did it all. We simply become the re cipients of the work that He ac complished on Calvary's cross. Q. Seattle, Wash. "Could you help me to see the meaning of I Tim othy 2:15?" A . This is one of the pastoral epistles. It is a letter sent by Paul, at the direction of the Holy Spirit, to a young man in the ministry. The apostle is declaring, "Let the women learn in silence with all subjection." This speaks of the proper order in the church, not the home. The teaching shows author ity in the public assembly. It is not a question of superiority or infer iority but of God's ordained order. An excellent explanation was giv en years ago by Dr. James M. Gray who declared, "A woman can be kept in her proper place if she has any misgivings about whether she will step out of her sphere of great est effectiveness and authority. If she will safe-guard herself there, let her do it." This word "child bearing" in the original also means the training in the home. Look at the history of the church. The wo men who have been the most ef fective are those who have guided their children aright. A mother's first responsibility is in the home where she is queen. No Christian Page 13
woman who is Biblically oriented will become involved in some of these modern so-called liberation movements. Men and women should be stimulated to study the Word of God, thinking clearly about its explicit statements, at tempting to relate to the various problems which are extant today. The only stabilizing force of our lives can be the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the Word. Q. Imperial Beach, Calif. "I need help on James 1:13-15 where it speaks about temptations." A. This is one of the most impor tant passages on this subject in the entire Bible. It reminds us that God is not involved with any evil, and that it is by man's sin solicited by Satan's evil that the situation de
velops. Keep in mind that there is no sin in the temtpation itself. It is when we yield to the enticement, whether in thought, motive or deed, that it becomes sin. Q. Imperial Beach, Calif. "Could you give me help in understand ing Ezekiel 18:4 and 20?" A. This has to do with some of the basic dealings of God. Ezekiel wrote this at the direction of the Lord when he was in Babylonia. The Jewish people in captivity were questioning God's providence in taking them into this foreign and alien land. It was to them a sad and hopeless state of affairs. The people, like our own of today, began blaming everything on the previous generation. Israel had been using the proverb, "The fath-
ers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge." It has a ring of this present age, does it not? Cod wanted the peo ple to know that in His sovereign dealings with man it is always on a personal and individual level. Everyone is responsible for his own actions. No one is able to excuse himself, based on his background or heredity. Cod's Spirit desires to work His miracle of grace in all men. Note the teaching of such verses as Romans 3:23 and 6:23. Q. Kansas City, Mo. "I wish you could give me some information on our resurrection. Will we not have a resurrection before the trib ulation?" A. So far as the subject of the res urrection for believers is con
cerned, before the tribulation this is brought out so clearly in I Thes- salonians 4:13-18. (That is one of the most blessed passages in the Word of God.) Another great sec tion of Scripture which deals with this is I Corinthians 15:50-58. These portions deal with what is known as the Rapture. It precedes both the Tribulation and the Millenni um. At that hour the dead in Christ shall rise first and we all will be given bodies fashioned like unto His glorious body. This refers only to born-again believers of this age. The Tribulation period is a time of God's judgment upon a God-hat ing, Christ-rejecting world. It is not a judgment for believers. It is after the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth that all men who have re jected Christ, the gift of God's di vine love, will be resurrected and stand before Him ready to receive their just condemnation and con signment to hell forever (Revela tion 6:16, 17). An excellent pam phlet on the subject is by J. F. Strombeck, "First the Rapture." Dr. H. A. Ironside has an equally good one on, "Not Wrath, But Rapture." There is a classic book on this im portant theme which we would most heartily endorse, "Jesus Is Coming Again," by William E. Blackstone. There are many other excellent books dealing with this subject, and available from our Bi- ola Book Room if you would like to write and request information. Musa Dogonyaro won the first SCRIBES' Trophy, voted on and presented to a Biola athlete by local sports editors. It is given to the Biola athlete who has given the school the best and most publicity, and in so doing portrays the athletic tradition of Biola. Page 15
things most people have as their utmost desire. It is wonderful that the child of God has within him the Holy Spirit whose purpose it is to give him the blessed realiza tion of these important goals. Our desire should be to let Him take control of our lives that we may be filled with His presence. The Spirit-filled life is simply letting the Holy Spirit do what He came to accomplish in us. That is specifically to control us complete ly. It is not a case of our needing to get more of the Spirit. We have all of Him the moment we receive Christ as Saviour. The point is that we must allow the Holy Spirit to have all of us! As an example, there are some people who possess money while there are others whom money possesses.
What is it you want most out of life? Everyone has certain desires which he would like to see real ized. Cravings of all kinds in the human realm flood the hearts of most people. I have put this same question to folks of all ages and from various walks of life. Invar iably the first answer I get is love. It is the most natural longing in everyone's heart. The second thing usually turns out to be happiness. Then, after that, the universal goal seems to be directed toward having peace. We find this true especially with young people today. For just a moment, consider the opening words of Galatians 5:22. Here we read the interesting com ment that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace." The very primary Page 16
By C. SUMNER WEMP
A spiritual Christian is not a neg ative person who has quit this and that. Lots of people give up cer tain habits but that does not mean that they are necessarily spiritual. The real measure is not what we do not do, but positively what we perform. LOVE The first proof of one's spiritual ity is whether or not he is bearing fruit of the Holy Spirit. The primary result according to this listing is love. This does not refer to that which is cheap and sentimental. So much that is sexual and sensual today goes by the mistaken name of love. How far such things are from God's true standards. There is a deep heart-felt devotion and
love for one another Cod wants us to experience. Our motive is not what we can get out of someone else, but what we can do to show our concern and interest in them. Such is selfless and genuine. It cannot be manufactured but is tru ly a gift from the Lord. Romans 5:5 reminds us, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit." The Lord knows all of our failures and faults. Before we ever came to Christ, God commended His love toward us. It is so perfectly revealed in our Saviour's atonement for our sins on Calvary's cross. This is the kind of love we are to have for others; even for the unlovely. The only way we can get it is to allow the Holy Spirit to produce it in us. Page 17
Do you know the difference be tween a pump well and an artesian well? The former has to be kept primed and pumped. The latter just flows forth naturally on its own. God wants us to have real love. Such can look past another's faults. Many people live on cheap substitutes today. Satan will do all in his evil power to cheat us. Nev er accept such standards. Are you looking for real love, real joy, real peace? God says it is the free gift, the fruit of the Spirit. You will never find these blessings anywhere else. Let the Holy Spirit do what He came to do in your life. God has a plan for you and me. He wants us to have an abun dant life produced by the Holy Spirit. Are you experiencing this each day? Start by letting Him do what He came to do. Receive Christ as your own personal Saviour. Then let the Spirit control you. This is His blessed and divine purpose. Have you yielded to Him? Have you asked Him to take control of your life that He might produce this in you? God help you to do it even this very day. CONTROL AND DIRECTION Most people live such sub-nor mal lives that when they see some one living a normal life, it appears to be abnormal. Spirituality is not measured by what we do not do in a negative aspect, but rather by the positive as we show the fruit of the Spirit in our day-by-day exis tence. You see, a person is a spir itual Christian when he lets the Holy Spirit do what He came to do. After conversion through faith in Jesus Christ, the next necessity is proper control and direction which only He can give.
It does not come by our trying to work at it a little harder. Only the Holy Spirit has the power to pro duce this fruit in your life. JOY After this there is the fruit of joy. It almost goes without saying that everyone wants to be happy and contented. God is not opposed to our enjoying life. In fact in I John 14, we read the testimony, "These things have I written unto you that your joy might be full." The Psalm ist declared of the Lord, "In His presence there is fullness of joy. At His right hand there are pleas ures forever more" (Psalm 16:11). Even in the midst of problems and perplexities there can be satisfac tion and contentment. I have heard people say, "If I become a Chris tian I would have to give up all my fun!" Such a person does not know what he is talking about. The fact is one really takes on the reality of joy- . PEACE The next fruit of the Spirit we will consider is peace. Think of all the tranquilizers people are taking today. As one fellow commiser ated, "I have enough problems to give aspirin a headache." God's offer is peace in the midst of it all. His peace passes all understanding (Philippians 4:6, 7). It also can take care of all misunderstandings as well. This was Christ's legacy as described in John 14:27. Do we as His joint heirs really know how rich we are? As believers in Christ, our peace does not depend on what is happening on the outside. It comes from within (I Peter 1:6, 7). This is the great victory we need for our lives.
chapters of Acts. How he lifted up the Saviour with a new dynamic in witnessing. Those who heard these things "were pricked in their hearts." They wanted to know what to do to find the Lord. What con viction was brought to their souls through these humble instruments. Is this true of our lives, too? It can be! We need this holy boldness to witness for Christ. It comes about when we allow the Holy Spirit to have control, producing in us what He wants to do (John 14:12). Is everything in your life simply ac countable to human experiences, power and wisdom? The Lord wants us to know His empower ment (John 7:37-39). The Holy Spirit either works through us in blessing to others or He has to work on us. The tragedy is that too many people have the Holy Spirit on them in conviction instead of through them in control. In Ephesians 5 God says that a result of the Spirit's fullness in our lives will be a heart filled with melody (vrs. 18 ,19). Do you ever sing in your heart? What I like to do is to fix a Gospel melody in my mind, and then go over it again and again in my thinking. This is a wonderful practice, and it is sure to lift you out of the doldrums. It is sad to see all the murmuring that goes on. If we would just turn that into music it would make a world of difference. When the children of Israel were going through the wil derness, they murmured about ev erything, including God. What a sorry state to be in: No joy, no peace, no love. Music can ring the changes for you. In everything we are to give thanks. Page 19
PRAISE AND GLORY One of the important proofs of a Spirit-controlled Christian is that he praises and brings glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture re minds us that in all things "He is to have the preeminence" (Colossians 1:18). He is to be exalted above all else (Philippians 2:9, 10). This is one of the greatest secrets to Chris tianity. What we really need is tru ly to fall in love with Jesus. This is not just some superficial, external attachment, but a love which con trols and pervades our entire lives! It was said of the church at Ephe sus that although they had all the proper doctrine and discipline they had left their first love. What a tragic picture this is of the church of Jesus Christ today. What we really need is to be truly in love with Him. It is one of the primary proofs that we have been saved and that we are allowing the Holy Spirit to control our lives. POWER IN WITNESSING Acts 1:8 shows us that a third proof of a Spirit-controlled Chris tian is power in witnessing. Notice that this comes after the Holy Ghost has taken up His residency within us. II Timothy reminds us that "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Consider the case of Peter who had been such a difficult person in many ways before the crucifix ion. He often walked in the flesh, and ultimately he denied the Lord. But, when the Holy Spirit came upon him at the Day of Pentecost, we see someone who had a unique boldness to preach the Gospel (Acts 4:12). Read his powerful ser mons recorded in the first few
everyone craves. God help you to do it this very day! INDWELLING SPIRIT It was Dr. Kenneth Wuest who so well pointed out, "Being filled with the Spirit is not putting gas in the tank; it is like putting a driver at the wheel." What a pro found statement that is. It is an excellent definition. God wants us to know what His perfect will is (Ephesians 5:17-18). This is what baffles so many today, especially young people, "How can l know the will of the Lord?" In Ephesians 5:18 we find that God desires us definitely to be filled with His Spir it. This is an absolute command. In the original Greek it means a con tinuous or constant action. Now there is a lot of difference between being indwelt by the Spirit and being filled by the Spirit. It is one thing to have the Holy Spirit, but still another for the Holy Spirit to have you. The Holy Spirit was sent by the Lord as the only One who could guide us into all truth. He does not speak of Himself, but glorifies the Lord and shows us things to come. Never forget that the Holy Spirit is a person, a member of the Trin ity. He is not an "it" nor an influ ence. The very same attributes of God the Father belong to the Holy Spirit for He is also God. As such He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Do you know where He is today? I Corinthians 6:19,20 tells us that He indwells all true believers in Christ. Our bodies are His abode here on earth. This is a fantastic realization. God has come to live with me. Have you ever stopped to realize why He has done this? The reason is that the
FREEDOM AND LIBERATION It is a wonderful life; it is a life of freedom and liberation. God says we need to know the liberty of the Spirit. People all want free dom today. It can only come about when we know the liberty of the Holy Spirit controlling us, and keep ing us from doing things in which we ought not to be involved. Free dom is not just being able to do all that we desire, but it is being able to do what we ought to do. Do you know anything about that Spirit-controlled life? Allow Him to take control right now if you have first received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Sav iour. Through you there can be produced this kind of a life which
Reverend Wemp is President of South eastern Bible College in Birmingham, Ala bama, and was a 1971 Torrey Conference
speaker. Page 20
Lord has chosen us as the human instruments to impart to others God's truth of righteousness and glory. Have you heard of someone who has been involved in an accident while drinking liquor? Someone will say, "He was driving under the influence of alcohol." Such caused the person to do things he would not normally do. Intoxi cated, an individual may have a boldness which would cause him to go out and fight the world. In finitely more than this, when a man is filled with the Holy Spirit, he loses his fear and timidity. He is anxious to be the channel through whom God can pour His blessings. One who is filled with the Holy Spirit is generous. He loves people, even those who may treat him un kindly. Such is just a sampling of characteristics marked in the life of one truly controlled by the Spirit. TEMPERANCE The last in the list of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) is tem perance. This word means "self- control." This does not tell us that we have more will power seeking to bring ourselves into subjection. It is only when we let the Holy Spirit have charge of our will. This is what God wants as we allow Him to have the priority over this old nature. We will always have the flesh with us so long as we draw mortal breath (Matthew 26:41). We are to walk in the Spirit so that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Ephesians 5:16). The Bible does not say that we will lose the de sires of the flesh but that we would not fulfill them. This is true if the Holy Spirit has control of us. I am away from home a great deal of the time. While conducting
meetings I will stay in various peo ple's homes. Often I am accorded the privilege of staying in the guest room. On occasions such encount ers have made me, and doubtless my hosts, ill at ease. I get the feel ing some people would just as soon I stay in the guest room. I am afraid a lot of people do the same to the Holy Spirit. Does He have ready access to every part of your life? Do we give Him complete free dom? Have we yielded every area of our lives to Him: business, so cial, domestic, and personal? He desires to be God in every area. God has told us that if we ask anything according to His will, we can have absolute confidence that we will receive it. It comes by faith and not feeling. Never judge the fulness of the Spirit by any emo tional standard. It has to do with the fact of faith (Colossians 2:6). You can know, based on the authority of the Word of God> that the Holy Spirit has control of your life. We must yield our lives allow ing the Holy Spirit to take com plete control. Once having done this, do not try to take over again. At that point you will be sinning. Let us follow the Scriptural prac tice of Romans 12:1, 2. God wants us to let the Holy Spirit do what He came to do. In this way, He be gins to produce love, joy, peace, power and all the rest in our lives. Are you a Spirit-filled Christian? Simply admit that you are helpless without Him. Take this step by faith to the glory of God. Would you ask Him to take control of your life right now, and then be gin to walk in the Spirit? God help you to do it! GRIEVING THE SPIRIT One of the most important ex- Page 21
hortation of Scripture is, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, where by ye are sealed unto the day of your redemption" (Ephesians 4:30). Everything we do should be con ditioned by that word of admoni tion. As we have seen in previous studies every Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit the moment he receives Christ as Saviour. This does not mean he is controlled or filled by the Spirit. Indwelling and in filling are not synonomous terms. The Greek word for "grieve" means to cause sorrow, sadness, pain or woe. Have you ever done this to the Spirit? Notice that He is properly referred to as "Holy" Spirit. This means that anything un holy really grieves Him. The ques tion is not big sins, little sins, few sins or many sins. Regardless of what they are we are not to grieve Him. When we grab control of our lives we are grieving Him. He can no longer work through us, pro ducing love, joy, peace and the other important fruit. He desires to bring conviction. Whenever this happens we must confess the sin and make it right with the Lord (I John 1:9). While I am not a prude I hate to go into a dirty house. You would not want to have to kick out gar bage. Who could feel comfortable Keep in mind there is a difference between grieving the Holy Spirit and quenching Him. We grieve the Holy Spirit by the things we do; by sins of commission. We quench the Holy Spirit by the things we do not do; by sins of omission. In Ephesians 4:23-24 we are told that we must be renewed in the Spirit of our minds so that we can "put in such circumstances? QUENCHING THE SPIRIT
on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." We are to put away ly ing, so that we may speak every man truth with his neighbor. Have you ever grieved the Holy Spirit by lying? There are so many little ways that this sin can be committed. We should be sensitive to this point seeking always to walk uprightly before God. The Lord says to "put away lying." That means to have done with it and not to allow it to have any place in our lives. People are sometimes not even honest with themselves. Lying will cause the Holy Spirit to cease His work through us. When we sin we cut off the current from God and break fellowship with Him. Then we are told never to let "the sun go down upon your wrath." One of the greatest pieces of ad vice I could ever give couples is, "Never go to bed mad." You must be able to communicate and deal with these differences in love when they occur. Talk out the difficulties. The next verse urges us not to give "place to the devil." I have heard people excuse themselves by saying, "I just cannot help it." Oh yes you can! The Bible says, "Re sist the devil and he will flee from you." You try it and you will find it works. In Jesus' name, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, re sist the devil. Command him to get out! He will run! The next exhortation is (vrs. 28), "Let him that stole, steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." Think of the things people take home from the office. To be sure they are just little things but it is still stealing.
humbly come to confess your way wardness before the Lord? Have you lost the joy of your salvation? if a person is a Spirit-controlled Christian he has control over his tongue. Everybody wants his own way clamoring for this and that. God says, "Let it all be put away." Let us make a clean break of it. In vrs. 32, we are urged to show kindness to each other. My, we need a whole lot of that do we not? Is it not tragic? Old fashion kindness is a forgotten commod ity. Just recently I got a letter from a very dear friend. He had hoped to visit me while I was speaking at a Bible conference. At the last min ute there had to be a change in plans and he could not make it. He wrote a letter and enclosed a check for $100.00. He added, "This is just a little love gift for you; have a good time." That is kind ness! Scripture is not calling for mere sentimentalism but for ten derheartedness. Do we know how to weep with those who weep? Can we rejoice with those who re joice? I see so much malice and bit terness these days. People going around with this cancer in their hearts. We are told to forgive one another, even as Cod for Christ's sake has forgiven us. Do you grieve the Holy Spirit? Do you lack this wonderful sweet peace in your heart? Are you really a happy Christian? It is great to be in love with Jesus Christ, and to have the joy of the Lord bubbling out of your heart. If this is not your experience, come and confess your sin to the Lord. Let the Holy Spirit take control again. Scripture warns every believer against quenching the Holy Spirit. Page 23
How many there are who steal from the government by cheating on their income tax. No wonder so many lives are powerless and lack joy. The Lord is not telling us that we are to work just to get a lot of money for ourselves. The purpose is according to these words that we may be able to help others. How many people do you know who have that concept and phil osophy of living? Next the suggestion is that we are to “ Let no corrupt communica tion proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (vrs. 29). It is so easy to be critical and to say unkind things about others. If you do not have something good to say, do not even open your mouth. Gossiping will leave a bit ter taste in your mouth. Watch yourself on the profane language and so-called slang ex pressions. A man who is a Spirit- filled Christian will be careful. Do not go around using minced oaths. That is the same as cursing. Be careful of your speech. Whatever you utter, does it build up, encour age and strengthen others? If it does not, you may be grieving the Holy Spirit. It is sad to hear so many Christians criticizing each other. Why do we fight one anoth er? (James 4:1-3). Bitterness is to be gotten out of our hearts. What does it really matter what someone else did to you? Why ruin yourself because of another's sin? To grieve the Holy Spirit you will lose the joy. When David had sinned against God, he had to cry out in the agony of his own soul, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salavtion!" Have you
They had good intentions but they quenched the Holy Spirit. Have you ever had somebody give you the "brush-off"? It does not feel too pleasant, does it? You can imagine how the Lord feels when we do the same to His prec ious Holy Spirit. Dwight L. Moody said he had been at some great meeting when the Holy Spirit put an urge on his heart to pray. He had to slip away to a restroom all by himself where he could get on his knees before the Lord. That may seem extreme to some, but keep in mind, this is why he was so extremely used of God, too! Could it be that this is why you have not been used successfully? Have you quenched the Holy Spirit? There is a great example of this in the Word of God? In II Samuel 6 we read of David becoming king over Israel. He remembers that a hundred years before the ark of God was taken captive by the Phil istines. It was when Eli was priest and his two sons were killed in the ensuing battle with the enemy. One of Eli's son's wife gave birth to a baby and named it Ichabod, which means "the glory is departed." And for a hundred years that is exactly what had taken place in Israel. The missing ark of God was the outward or visible manifested pres ence of God. David wisely wanted it returned to its rightful place. To accomplish the task some 30,000 men were chosen to go down to Baal of Judah on this important mission. When they got the ark they started back toward Jerusa lem. The new kind had a reveren tial fear of God, which is what we need today! "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," the
In Philippians we are reminded, "It is God who works in you, both to will and to do of His good pleas ure." I like to translate that, "It is God who works in you, both to desire and to do of His good pleas ure." Most of us are quite aware of the fact that it is God who works in us. He gives us the power to do His good pleasure. What many are not aware of, however, is that it is also God who gives us the desire to do His good pleasure. Have you ever thought about that? He puts it in your heart to read the Bible, to pray, to fellowship with other believers at church, and to win someone else to Christ. The ad monition is, do not quench that desire? When we do we sin against God. We quench the Holy Spirit by sins of omission as we fail to do what He gives us the desire and the urge to do. Many times we have attended services where the Lord has warmly stirred our hearts. There was a de termination and a hunger to know more of Him. Somehow, however, things interrupted and those good intentions went out the window. We must learn to put first things first. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." The Lord will not play "second fiddle" to anybody. I was a pastor for 13 years. Liter ally hundreds of times I have seen Christians at special meetings such as Bible conferences, missionary gatherings, and revival services where individuals have been brok en before God. Our hearts are moved, and there is a new avowal to do something ourselves. A week or two and they are "gung-ho" for God. Then, all of a sudden, you wonder why they are not seen. Page 24
book of Proverbs reminds us. Da vid was afraid and left the ark of God with Obed-edom, the Gittite. Later word came of the great bless ing bestowed upon the man be cause he had this sacred instrument in his house. David felt compelled to feel the blessing of the Lord in his own life, so it was brought back to its rightful place. Vrs. 14 of II Samuel 6 tells us that as they were bringing the ark of God into the city of Jerusalem David danced before the Lord with all his might, filled with rejoicing. There was a common custom in those days that at the head of any parade, one would put on a linen ephod, get out in front of the pro cession, and dance up and down like a court jester. King David humbled himself in takingthe place of a servant since his heart was so glad and overjoyed. He was not quenching the Holy Spirit. There was no pride in his act whatsoever. But Michael, Saul's daughter and David's wife, when she saw what was happening (vrs. 16), "she de spised him in her heart." Many people misunderstand when an individual gets excited for Jesus, wanting to go to church, pray, read their Bible and the like. Think of being so despised by your own wife as David was. She branded him a religious fanatic. What a scene we have in vrs. 20 as she comes in to say contemptu ously, "How glorious was the king today!" How would she explain his strange actions to her friends? David's testimony that follows is beautiful. Everything he had done was to glorify the Lord. He was so full of love for God, he just had to rejoice in this fashion. As a judg ment upon Michael, the Bible says
that she would bear no children. Listen, dear friends, God wants us not to quench the Holy Spirit! The spiritual man is not understood by this world. As a young 17-year old boy, the night I was saved, I told a friend of mine I was going to prayer meet ing. He responded, "But, why? None of the other young people go to church on Wednesday nights." I responded, "I do not care. I am going!" A girl I had been dating before I became a Christian saw me one night walking to church with my Bible under my arm. She was very attractive and I had a liking for her. She was puzzled and asked me where I was going. I told her, "To church!" She scoffed and re plied, "Is that all you do now?" Although she scorned me, I wanted to do what God desired. I am so glad I did not quench the Holy Spirit, although I have many times since. When I do I lose the joy of the Lord. The spirit-filled life is simply letting the Holy Spirit do what He came to accomplish in us. WALK IN THE SPIRIT How long does it take a child to learn to really walk? Probably about a year. I can remember when my oldest son took his first step. My, that was a great time and a beautiful sight! I wanted the whole world to notice him. But he stum bled many times and frequently would cry when he fell. It was be cause of pain or even indignation. In those important days of early development he (and we) faced many new experiences as he grew in his abilities of walking. Page 25Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60
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